Postgraduate Research Opportunity: Influence of Additives on the Structure-property Relationships of Carboxymethyl Cellulose (CMC) Based Product Formulations

University of Leeds

Value: Funding covers the cost of fees and provides a maintenance matching the Research Council UK rate (£14,553 for 2017/18). UK applicants will be eligible for a full award paying tuition fees and maintenance. European Union applicants will be eligible for an award paying tuition fees only, except in exceptional circumstances, or where residency has been established for more than 3 years prior to the start of the course.

Project description

Within personal care and food industries, understanding complex high value chemical dispersions is extremely important for manufacturing and product optimisation. Of particular interest is the link between a products formulation, which may consist of multiple phase components, the efficacy or performance of the product and its behaviour during use.

This project seeks to understand the structure-property relationships of complex solutions containing carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC), used as a gelling agent in a variety of everyday products. CMC is a polyelectrolyte polymer, which structures when dissolved in water creating thickened solutions. The resulting rheological behaviour is highly dependent on the interaction with other components in the continuous phase, such as salts, humectants and flavour oils for example. Thus, performance predictions of final products can be extremely difficult. To help understand these complex systems, we will seek to characterise CMC in various aqueous formulations with additives including polyphosphate salts and sorbitol. Characterisation will be completed through various techniques such as light and neutron scattering. Formulation structure will then be compared to the rheological properties of the solutions, which are critical to understanding the viscoelasticity and flow behaviour of product formulations.

How to apply

Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the university's website. Please state clearly in the research information section that the PhD you wish to be considered for is the ‘Influence of additives on the structure-property relationships of carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) based product formulations’ as well as Dr Timothy Hunter as your proposed supervisor. In the funding section, please state 'EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership' as your sponsor.

If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University’s minimum English Language requirements.

We welcome scholarship applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates. All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.

If you require any further information please contact the Graduate School Office

e:, t: +44 (0)113 343 8000

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Northern England